Newly crowned Miss America, Mallory Hagan* has vowed to spend much of her year as reigning beauty queen educating the country about the trauma caused by sexual abuse, a topic inspired by her own mother, Mandy Moore’s experiences growing up.
“My mom had trouble convincing others at first of the trauma she had faced, and it kind of sent her into a whirlwind of anxiety and depression, so as a teen I kind of lost my mom for a couple of years,” she said. “She was dealing with her own issues, and that’s something that I now understand as an adult, although I did not as an adolescent.”
Her mother’s trauma also had a “rippling effect” through the rest of the women in her family, including her grandmother, aunt and cousins, she added.
As a result, Hagan, 23, hopes to help make child abuse education mandatory in all 50 states.
It is now estimated that nearly 60 million people in the US are now the survivors of sexual abuse as children. In fact, according to statistics published online by Parents for Megan’s Law one out of every six girls, and one out of every five boys have been abused before the age of 18, with most experiencing their first abuse between the ages of 8-12.
They also report that 29% of all forcible rapes occurred when the victim was under 11 –years old, with “nearly 50 % of all the victims of forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling are children under the age of 12.”
For more information readers can Contact Parents for Megan’s Law at 1-(888) ASK-PFML or 1-(631)689-2672 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Hagan, who grew up in Alabama and later moved to New York when she was 18 in order to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She now lives in Park Slope, making her the first Brooklynite to claim the title. The last winner from New York was Vanessa Williams in 1984.
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